Classical Civilisation AS Topics OCR/AQA

Length of course: 5 half-day sessions
Boards: OCR H041 and AQA1021

This course offers topics suitable for students studying Classical Civilisation with OCR H041 or AQA 1021. It focuses specifically on Homer’s Odyssey as this is a popular choice of text for students studying both boards. Due to the range of themes and texts on offer no other topics will be covered.

The course is focused on helping students understand the different Assessment Objectives to
maximise marks. Essay writing skills, including essay structure, content, planning and timeframe for each type of question will be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to tailor a program of study which addresses and prioritises their weaknesses and concerns whilst examining past paper questions.

The following topics will be covered:

Literary context:

• Oral tradition
• Transmission of the texts, including when the epics were written down
• What their preliterate form was and whether they were composed by one or more poets
• Structure of the epic and of the plot
• Narrative and descriptive techniques and their effects, including flashback, retardation,
episodes, use of speeches, similes, imagery
• Themes
• The language of epic, including formulae and similes
• Presentation of character
• Supernatural elements, such as monsters
• Realism and fantasy
• Disguise and recognition
• Nostos

Social and cultural context:

• The role of the gods and the power of fate
• The stories of the heroes
• The concept of heroism, including the ideas of honour (timé) and reputation (kleos)
• Moral concepts, such as justice and revenge
• Life and society as portrayed by Homer
• The part played by women in the epics and their position in society
• Hospitality and guest friendship (xenia)
• The role of slaves
• Historical and archaeological background
• Th relationships between mortals and immortals, men and women, fathers and sons
• The nature of the societies portrayed in Homer’s Odyssey